A Marvelous Show: The Dude of Life Band “Opens” for Phish at Lark Hall

A few songs into The Dude of Life Band’s first set at Lark Hall, Steve Pollak (aka, The Dude of Life) announced that after the show, they’ll be streaming the Phish show from San Francisco, which started shortly after 11pm ET on Saturday, October 16. “So we’re opening for Phish a few time zones away,” said Pollak, much to the crowd’s delight. And in a way, the band was opening for Phish, a band with whom Pollak has a decades-long connection.

The Dude of Life Band, a genre-bending group led by the Dude of Life, Steve Pollak, includes Pollak on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Fred Scholl on lead guitar, Charlie de Saint Phalle on bass, Doug Schneider on drums, and Jon Liebowitz of God Street Wine on keyboard and organ.

For several decades, The Dude has been writing songs in an ongoing collaboration with Phish, and first teamed up with Trey Anastasio while the two were in high school. The Dude wrote lyrics for a number of Phish’s most beloved songs, including “Fluffhead,” “Run Like an Antelope” and “Suzy Greenberg,” and has also been a mythical sideshow with the band, making random guest appearances often highlighted by the throwing of uniquely-inscripted rubber chickens into the crowd. The Dude’s debut album, Crimes of the Mind, was recorded with Phish for Elektra Records and released in 1994.

In recent years, The Dude of Life has developed a more refined sound, and a recent burst of creativity has yielded an album’s worth of new material which was recently recorded by acclaimed producer Bryce Goggin.

The Dude of Life Band performed some of these new songs – “Automatic Pilot,” “Dilaudid Nurse” and “In Case You Didn’t Know,” alongside his Phish classics, plus a handful of Grateful Dead covers, “Ruby Tuesday” by The Rolling Stones and “Badge” by Cream. The flow to the show was smooth and the hits kept coming as the evening progressed. Pollak wrapped up the show with an appropriate “Show of Life,” right before turning the mic over to Phish, live from the Chase Center in San Francisco

Setlist: Crazy Too, Althea, Can’t Always Listen, Ain’t No More Caine, Nobody Finer, Mississippi Blues, Automatic Pilot, Franklin’s Tower, Suzy Greenberg, Dilaudid Nurse, Fluffhead, She Belongs to Me, Sugaree, Space -> Lost Moments in Time, In Case You Didn’t Know, Crimes of the Mind, Ruby Tuesday, Badge, Goin Down the Road Feelin Bad -> Show Of Life

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